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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Madison County news conference about coronavirus response

Credit: WAAY ABC Huntsville, AL
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Madison County news conference about coronavirus response
Madison County news conference about coronavirus response
Madison County news conference about coronavirus response

We're interrupting regular programming with breaking news out of madison county.

>>> we interrupt your programming for a newsbreak in from top leaders in madison county.

>> county and city leaders are about to give a coronavirus update.

Let's listen in.

>> jeff birdwell: will you note we will sit aig least six feet awort according to cdc guidelines.

At this point i'll give you a little update of the information that we know.

Currently there are 1880 confirmed cases in the state of alabama.

138 of those are confirmed in madison county, resulting in 1 death.

Again, we continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly.

With that said, we'll go to mr. david spillers from huntsville hosp hospital.

>> mr. spillers: thank you.

Good morning.

I want to start by thanking everyone for their continued support of our organization and all the health care facilities in the region.

And that's everybody from the restaurants to the people who drive by flashing their rights to the various manufacturers and other people who are stepped up and are manufacturing supplies that we need in our community.

It's very impressive when you're in the middle of it and see all this happening and know all of this is going on.

So thank you y'all for that.

Current status of our facilities, we have in the huntsville hospital facilities here in madison county, we have 11 inpatients.

Crestwood has three inpatients.

That's up a little bit from last week.

Our census at huntsville hospital is the lowest it's been in 30 plus years.

So we have created an enormous amount of capacity in the event we get that peak that everybody is predicting.

I will tell you that the -- we e or four different models that are out there that predict when we will see our peak and how high that peak will be.

They vary substantially.

We saw a model last week that predicted that we would not have nearly enough beds, that we would see so many patients in the community that it would over-run all the hospitals' capacity run that model again this week, it's back down to a manageable number.

It suggests our peak will be two weeks from now.

We've got another model that suggests our peak won't be until september.

So i say that to share with the community, trying to plan how you address the community's needs when you really have no good data on what's going to happen or when it's going to happen and what the impact is going to be when we do see our peak makes it very difficult to plan.

I want to go back to testing.

There's data available on how many people have been tested through the state labs.

I continue to believe they don't have all the negative tests that we have run.

In madison county alone we have run 4613 tests.

We have tested probably as many or more people, for 1,000 people than anywhere in the state.

1434 in the communities we serve in north alabama.

So we have tested an enormous number of people.

We continue to test.

We have a lot more testing capacity and abilities than we had two weeks ago.

About two weeks ago i commented in this press conference that we needed in-house testing.

We now have in-house testing.

In-house testing have allowed us to rule outpatients in our hospital very quickly.

That has reduced resource utilization, so it's allowed us to conserve our supplies in the event we get that peak that everybody is talking about.

So we're in much better shape testing today than we were two weeks ago.

We have an adequate amount of testing supplies to test the community.

We have not opened back up our drive through clinic because we're meeting all the demand at our flu and fever clinic and our physician offices and through our emergency department.

If those fill up again, then we will go back to a drive-thru clinic but right i think we're meeting the testing demand in the clinics we have open.

As i mentioned, some of the models predict us having far more patients than we could see in our hospital facilities.

Last week the army corps of engineers, they were here.

A group of professionals from our hospitals, the city, and other agencies met with the corps of engineers, looked at alternative sites to set up beds in the event we would need those.

They can set up more beds than we could actually physically put beds in place for.

But we're working on a plan now to create that extra capacity if we need it.

I've said earlier, you've got to have people to staff additional beds.

I think if we ever get to the point that we have patients outside our hospital facility, staffing would be the real issue.

So this week we're going start a process to look at how we could identify other people in the community who might be retired, who might be not practice for some other reason, could volunteer if we ever get to the point of needing those external beds.

I pray we don't ever get there.

But if we do, we're going to need more help than we have employees at our health system to staff those beds.

So we're working on that.

Our supplies look good today.

Getting in-house testing so that we don't have to treat every suspected patient like they're a covid-19 patient has allowed us to reduce our supply usage substantially.

Last week at this time we probably had 40 patients in the hospital that we were under investigation.

And as you recall, when a patient is under investigation we're treating them as if they had covid-19.

When i left the hospital this morning we had three in our madison county facilities that were under investigation.

That's what rapid testing in-house allows us to do.

We can rule those patients out much faster.

We can start conserving our resources.

So we've -- our supply chain looks good right now.

We're told we're going to continue to get our regular supplies.

Our alternative sources have come through with some soup plies.

I won't tell you we're over-supplied, we're certainly not hoarding but we've got enough supplies right now at our current usage rates.

That could all change if usage rates go up.

One of the things we're actively working on today is reusable supplies.

We purchased gowns, other reusable supplies in the everyone we can't get the disposable supplies.

And we'll put those in inventory and clean those appropriately in between use if it gets to that.

We really haven't talked about the financial implications of anything, of something of this magnitude.

We had to start looking at that because we actually have our call with moody's who rates our bonds and annually looks at the performance of a hospital and determines what rating the hospital is going to get to determine what interest rate we pay on the debt that we have on the hospital.

It just so happens that call is this week.

Couldn't happen at worst time, right?

So we're having to make some projections on what the financials look like.

Tommy, you know, well we all know about this, we all have to do these calls periodically.

So we're looking at the financial impact.

Had to start looking at the financial impact of this.

And we've got a very large facility.

It's got huge fixed costs.

And we basically eliminated all elective surgery and anybody who doesn't need to be there.

So our financials for the next three months look horrendous, for lack of a better word.

But you know, it's sad but it's a piece we have to manage.

We're going on the expectation that we won't get any help from anyone with those financials.

There's money in the c.a.r.e.

Act for hospitals but i don't know when we will get it and how much it will be and how much it will help.

So just be aware, we'll get rated this week and i have no idea what moody's will do.

I have no idea how moody's will rate a hospital because we will be in the first group of hospitals that's been rated since every hospital in the country has scaled back all of their elective surgeries and gotten into a situation like this.

So just another piece of the organization that we have to manage.

We can't just totally forget about it.

But one that's giving us a headache this week, based on the current situation.

So with that, i'll just say that we continue as community to krolt how control w good or bad this is going to be.

If we continue to do social distancing, we continue to follow the rules that -- and the policies that have been put out there, i think we will avoid a massive peak in patients.

And i think we'll be able to take ka care of the community.

But if we as a community choose to think things are better and we quit doing the things that we need to be doing, then i can make no promises that we'll have a bed for you when you need one.

And that's as clear as i can put it.

We control how well this community will do in managing this virus.

Thank you.

>> jeff birdwell: thank you, mr. now we'll go to mayor tommy battle, city of huntsville.

>> mayor battle: on the 16th of march the city of huntsville passed a resolution declaring a state of local emergency for the city of huntsville.

At the same time, the city of madison did the same.

And it was a three-week period that we were -- that we put this in place for.

That three-week period is coming to an end.

We both left room in there for our council president to extend it for a two, three-week periods.

We've asked our council president devyn keith to come today as he is the presentation on extending the state of local emergency.

Mr. keith?

>> mr. keith: thank you, mayor.

Good afternoon to you all.

I first want to say it has been, for many and all, learning as you go.

We have definitely put together in place in these past three weeks some things that probably will say after we get past this moment.

We've been working in cohesion to say the least with the administration.

I'm immensely prow how the mayor has handled this, mayor of the city of madison, mayor paul finley, how all the leaders have come together via telecommunication, text, e-mail, all the above to really come up with unique ideas to increase as best can the quality of life for the city of huntsville as we continue to get through this, not only huntsville but the state of alabama and the nation as well.

My council members have been working, to see the least.

Councilman culver is here currently.

But we have all been in text, conversations, e-mails, our office has received so many calls.

And our hats off not only to those who are on the front line working but citizens.

Many of our citizens disefer medals for the ideas they've come up with.

My grandmother and her group who have made a number of masks and probably donated her own weight in masks at this point.

My hat is off to the huntsville community.

But today i just come again to say that the administration has continued to come up with innovative ideas, worked within the realms that they have to really keep the quality of life in huntsville as high as they can and, with that being said, i shall read in accordance with the authority vested in me from resolution number 20-266, i hereby notify you of my decision to extend the state and low cat emergency for an additional period of three weeks, until monday, 27th, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

I reserve the option to extend that state of local emergency by any additional peer idea of three weeks should the circumstances so dictate at the conclusion of this first extension.

Again, my hat goes off to you, mayor and administration, for working with the council but also wor working on behalf of the city of huntsville and back bam and our prayers are with everybody who is watching and the prayers with this great nation.

>> mayor battle: thank you, mr. keith.

You know, friday, the governor put out her order, the order to -- her order came in.

It was a tightening.

And it got down to lots of essentials.

It was a much like what we had already in place.

But it carried it a little bit farther.

And you know as you've seen, there's been a strategy of tighten, tighten, tighten.

And as we have followed that example, we've gone from starting off with restaurants to parks to tightening down the controls there, to tightening control in other retailers.

As we've gone through that process we've been able to get down to where we're finally at a stay-at-home order.

And that stay-at-home order has been good for us because it did on the start of what i would say is the very start before the peak of, we had people staying home, taking it serious, and making sure that we don't get in contact with people, that we keep our distancing.

You know, there's lots of people out there doing great work, community resource officers have been working with the big box stores and this weekend we saw the results at many of the big box stores, parks and rec people are out in the parks over the weekend and throughout the week to make sure that we don't have team sports, that we don't have the kind of activities that bring you within six feet of each other.

Big spring spark signage is still out and signage in all of our parks are still out.

Reminding people to stay separated.

And then, you know, out of this essential order we've had some questions which have been cleared up, some as recently as this morning.

You know, what we're seeing right now is we are moving towards a new normal.

For the city of huntsville, we are in the process of trying to procure masks for our employees who come in contact with others on any kind of regular basis.

And we will -- as soon as we can procure those, we will have those and those will be given out to the employees.

You know, as mr. spillers said, we're all in this together and we're all working together, we're all hit financially by this but we will make it through.

The community, you've got to say great things about this community.

4,000 face shields, made with 3-d printers across the community.

When you start looking at those kind of numbers of people sitting there making face shields, it makes you proud of your community.

The bankers, many -- several of the banks worked over the weekend and they provided almost $50 million of liquidity through the sba to local businesses.

There's some other announcements that will come out today as we're taking care of workers in the restaurant and hospitality field.

Manna house, rock children r church is working with feeds sites on our school kids.

And our community development is teaming with the food bank to provide boxes of food and in some of the low-income areas of town.

Natural resources has stepped up to monitor and make sure that each business, manufacturing facility, has a good plan in place so that we can make sure that we have safety out there.

You know, i want to say that this community has responded and responded very well.

We are going to have to keep it up.

It's not something that we can stop.

Last week we were talking about it was getting -- what we were classifying as fatigue.

There was a little bit of fatigue because we had been at this for three weeks.

Most of the time, you know, when the general population gets into something, it's a five-day period.

And this has been three weeks now, we'll be going on the fourth week and we'll go on to the fifth week.

I have been very proud of the way this community has responded.

I think that shows in some of our numbers as we watch.

And we will not let our guard down now.

This is a time to be extra vigilant.

This is a week before surge week.

If you belief one model.

If you believe another model this could be surge week.

We're going to continue to follow through on what we see boots on the ground, what the things that we see in this area.

So thank you.

>> jeff birdwell: thank you, mayor battle.

Thank you for watching today.

We will be back here again tomorrow at noon for another daily briefing.

Until then, all critical updates will be posted to the city of huntsville's covid-19 web page as well as websites of our other partners here today.

Until then, stay safe, stay separate, and remember to sanitize.

At this point we will allow questions.

Again, as you come to the mic, please identify yourself and who you are affiliated with.

'll allow one question and a follow-up.

Again, we have more than one mic.

So as long as we maintain the six-feet social distancing please go ahead in the effort to speed things up, move towards those mics.

>> my name is kate smith, reporter for 41 news.

My question is for mr. spillers.

You said there were a couple of models out there.

What are you doing behind the scenes at the hospital to make sure we have enough equipequipmentand stuff if our s in september?

>> mr. spillers: yeah, we have a variety of people working on a surge plan.

That includes the location where we would place patients that need care, that's the normal beds that we use.

But it's also in our preop and post op areas, cardiac short-stay area, our surgery suites, the beginning of the surge plan keeps patients within the hospital walls as much as possible because that's where we have access to computers and drugs and all those types of things to take care of those patients.

That's also where our staff are most familiar taking care of patients.

The next step after that would be to expand to potentially a portion of encompassed facility and the surgery center.

Obviously we would use crestwood, would be part of that plan to fill up the hospitals first.

And only after that would we go outside of the hospital for additional beds.

We have located our prepared beds we have in storage to go in the exterior sites if we need beds in those areas.

We are obviously constantly trying to acquire and make sure we have the supplies necessary to take care of that number of patients.

And that's a challenge because if we see that many patients, they're going to be very sick and utilizing supplies at a very fast rate.

So it will get progressively harder if we get to that point.

Our operational team, along with our hr team, are working on developing staffing plans of how we would staff that number of beds as clearly far more beds than we would normally staff.

So we will use all part-time, all full-time people.

We will probably use people in jobs that are different than what they normally would do.

We will probably use practitioner.

There's been some regulations passed down from the state to allow practitioners do more in this disaster than they could normally do under their license.

So we're looking how to use nurse practicers and others in a broader role if that were to happen.

Looking at all the models, nobody has predicted a peak before two weeks from now.

So our first plan was stabilize where we are, get our testing in place, get the community tested and then start working on the longer plan.

By this time next week, we will have our entire plan documented and in place and hopefully approved by our board so that they've had an opportunity to review it and see it.

Also include the things nobody wants to talk about is how to allocate scarce resources when you have more people than you have resources.

We've learned a lot about what they're doing in new york, the decisions and tough decisions they've had to make.

There's a whole committee of physicians and our ethics committee and others who are trying to give us a blueprint of how you would allocate scarce resources in the event you have more people that need resources than you have available.

>> sure.

Thank you.

My follow-up question is, i guess for mayor battle.

You know, i know that there's a conversation happening sometime this week about what would happen if you're gathering.

How police are going to enforce it.

There has to be some very generic thing.

Can you discuss a little bit more on that and who what would happen if people gathered?

We sue it all weekend.

Our newsroom was flooded with e-mails and phone calls about that.

>> mayor battle: what we're doing is, you know, there are hot spots out there.

We get the e-mails on them, same as you do.

And we do work on those to disburse those hot spots.

Mr. keith had an incident in his area where there were 30 people gathered together for a barbecue and one lady went and dispersed that group all by herself.

We bring in our police officers and our community resource officers to work with the pretailers.

If you saw this weekend a lot of the retailers were having someone up front sanitizing.

They were counting people coming in, counting people going out, making sure we didn't get over-capacity in spots.

And in taking this very, very seriously.

A lot of them making one-way aisles so you didn't pass people in the aisles, that you would move up and down the aisles one way.

We also have our national resources department who is working with the industry, the manufacturing industry, who is out there still working, making sure that if we get a complaint, the complaints, you can't enforce a complaint because it's a time and place but you can enforce that they have a plan in place and make sure they have a plan in place.

And we probably talked to a dozen of our manufacturers and i feel very good after getting the reports back on their plans and how they're making sure that people stay separated, how they're making sure that they are sanitizing the areas that they work in.

If you put all that togetherric it's a good overall plan for us.

>> sydney martin with channel 31.

My question is for mayor battle.

On friday that revised order lists more than 200 exemptions when it comes to essential work.

Some of those include dry-cleaners, bicycle and boat repairs, book stores, sex shops, are these really essential businesses and does governor's order do enough?

>> mayor battle: i think the governor's order is -- and it's still being defined as we speak.

The governor's order was -- fir, before this one, the stay in place, covered most of your retailers and covered your retailers where people were going to gather in place, where you had gatherings.

You know, could it have gone to a total lockdown, it probably could have.

But i think she went to the place where she made sure we did not have places that had a gatherings and you had social corn tact and you contact and thetouching, the nal parlors, hair salon, et cetera, where you had contact with people.

I think that she went to the place where we need to go.

We still have room to tighten down if we have to tighten down.

If we see increases in numbers, right now what we're seeing in our area is that we are satisfying with the numbers that we have although we would love to have zero as our number.

We're see that what the community is doing and how they are responding is working.

>> and then a follow up on that.

Last week when we talked we talked about a curfew and you mentioned a curfew was pretty much all we were missing from the stay-at-home order.

So why hasn't one been issued and do you think we need a curfew?

>> mayor battle: there's eight different versions of curfews.

There's a curfew that has a total lock down and nobody moves out of their home and we're not to that stage.

There's another version of the curfew where we are today, where stay at home, do not go to places where you have gatherings, make sure you stay six feet apart.

And the stay at home is a modified version of a curfew.

I think it's very much needs to be put in place.

I think it's something that makes us safer.

>> paul gattis from

Mr. spillers, i just wanted to ask about some of the references you made to the models.

I guess in particular we'll start with the model last week that suggested y'all over-run with with patients and then that model is modified where you think you may be in good shape.

What changed on that and given the unique situation here, how much stock can anybody really put in models?

>> mr. spillers: i think that's a great question.

How much can you believe the models, right, when they're all giving you a different number, it makes it hard to put a lot of confidence in any of them.

The one that i reference i think is the washington state model, the one that came out of washington state.

I think what you've got to keep in mind with these models is they are all looking at trend data in the united states and other parts of the world.

They're trying to predict based upon what's happening or what has happened.

And everything changes relatively quickly, how many people have been diagnosed, what percent of the diagnosis are in the hospital, how many of those are on vents, et cetera, et cetera.

So i understand every week as their data gets updated they can change the prediction from their models.

But in the end, there's huge variability in the models and it makes it just extremely difficult to plan for a community when you don't have good information.

So i encourage everybody, they're all available online.

You can look at them and you can see the variation.

And you can go back and look at the trends and see how much they change within a week or two basebased upon newer information.

I saw the university of washington this morning and i will say this, i like their model because it's the most optimistic one i've seen.

I hope it's the right one and i hope the rest of them are wrong.

I think that would be good for all of us.

I do think social distancing must be taken into account by some of these model it is.

It's clear if you're doing what we're encouraging people to do that it will have an impact on the numbers.

>> and just a follow-up on that a little bit.

The september model which i suspect is your least favorite of those.

I guess that is sort of a jarring prognosis for anyone to hear.

No one wants to think about this thing extending like that.

What can you say about that and -- >> mr. spillers: it's one of four or five models we look at.

They're publicly available.

You can dig up which one has that and why they're projecting that.

I presume they project there's going to be a lull in the summer and come back.

I didn't look at all the assumptions in that model.

Clearly, that's the one that you look at and go, you rethink how do you sustain what we're doing from now until september.

I think everybody would kind of back up and say, how do you do that.

Let's just hope that they are wrong.

Let's hope they update their model very soon and it looks a lot more like the one from university of washington.

>> just real quick.

These models are for alabama as whole or north alabama strictly?

>> mr. spillers: most of them t one that i mentioned from i think -- i said university of washington.

Washington state.

They will probably get me because i -- i guess that's like not distinguishing between auburn and alabama.

If you live in washington.

Their model actually has drop-down boxes where you can look at the united states and you can look by state so you can see what the particulars are for each state.

It tells you whether you're going to have more patients than you have beds, more patients that need ventilators than you have vents and that type of stuff.

So others might have the state drop-downs as well.

We look at them specific to our area based upon our data.

Some models allow you to plug in your own data and look what the they predict for your particular area.

>> mr. spillers, if you could a quick follow up to that actually as well because i feel like i'm copy and pasting audio text.

Let the people home at know who the experts we're listening to, we were dealing with issues in my district whether it was home remedy or whether it was how many people can truly be together.

Hospital facilities does huntsville hospital get their information from and high is it important that we centralize our view through huntsville hospital and cdc?

>> mr. spillers: i've said all along, maybe sure that you're getting reliable sources of information.

There is the internet has social media.

There's a lot of bad information out there.

We rely on the alabama department of public health and the cdc primarily.

We will also look to some of the research facilities like john hopkins and others.

I mentioned washington, the predictor model out of washington.

I would just make sure that you are using reprereputable sites.

Research institutions are a good site and the cdc is the primary scores of information.

They've good great link on their website to who you should be looking at.

>> i'm brian lawson with whnt.

This is for mr. spillers.

You had spoken a few minutes ago about financial pressure, both the currents operations and the bond market looking to talk about interest rates and that sort of thing.

I wonder fed you could talk a little bit about how financial pressure intersects with your ability to give care both today and then under some of the scenarios for many months to come without a similar income stream?

>> mr. spillers: yeah, i think, you know, we spent the last -- i've been here 14 years and we spent the last 14 years developing a rainy day fund for just -- this is not a rainy day, i don't know what is.

But when you're projecting a negative number like we're looking at for the next probably 90 days you can start going through a lot of money.

But net end we'll spend every dime of it taking care of this community because that's what we're here for.

That's only reason we've got money is to take care of the community.

We've got to manage that appropriately.

That means if today, if we don't have patience we're going the ask nurses to stay home so that they're well and they're rested when we need them.

So or any other people that work.

We have variable staffing.

Right now we have far more employees than we have patients.

And we're trying to protect all of our employees so that when we have more patients, they will be available.

And all that has financial implications.

>> this is a more granular follow-up.

Not getting trapped in the model conversation or trying not to, we've seen all over the country discussions from new york, elsewhere, about availability of ventilators, the ability, what that market or that dark market looks like.

Can you talk about, a, your ventilator situation today and what the landscape looks like in trying to get more material like that?

>> mr. spillers: so -- yeah, first, every ventilator is not the same.

We've got ventilators that we use in the hospital on a regular basis for patients who are on ventilators.

Hemsi has transport ventilators.

There are ventilators in the surgery center that are used for surgeries.

So you start priertd advertising your prioritizing your ventilators although if you talk to respiratory therapist, if any if needed, any of them can vent a patient.

If you add that total together there's a lot of available ventilators in our area.

And right now the models don't show that we would need more ventilators.

I think the limiting factor that people aren't talking about with ventilators is you can't put a patient on a ventilator without drugs.

You have to sedate a patient to put them on a ventilator.

And nobody is talking nationally about the shortage of appropriate propyfal andother drugs.

Since our curve is generally farther along than the rest of the country that drugs may be an issue for us, not ventilators.

Whether we have enough drugs to service se date people and put them on a ventilator.

What we're look right now i think we're okay.

But boy, i hate to say we're okay because a surge, people all the sudden not doing what they should be doing, a nursing home having a case that could spread rapidly and change everything.

There are so many things that could change the status of our ability to take care of this community very quickly that i hesitate to get anybody the implications that, hey, we're okay.

I don't want to do that.

I think if we continue as a community to do what we're doing we're okay on ventilators and beds.

But that could change.

>> thank you.

>> jeff birdwell: at this point we'll conclude the press conference.

Thank you for coming.

>>> all right.

I want to start with what we heard from david spillers, pat.

You know, he's been very straight forward with us since the beginning, since we started this.

And he said that we control as a community how the virus will continue, how we handle this virus.

He really noted that if we continue to follow these guideline there's is a possibility that we may not reach the peak.

But he was very open as far as the different models that are out there showing that the peak could come this week, it could come next week to another study.

One study show that peak or that surge could come in september.

He also mentioned that the hospital has been working with the army corps of engineers on developing and identifying locations for that are needed here.

We do have that surge and coronavirus cases.

He also made note that staffing would be an issue if we do see some of those studies come to fruition so they're now looking into other ways to bring in people from the community to help with staffing there.

On a positive note, he did say that the reason they are not opening that john hunt testing site this week is because the need is being managed by the flu and fever clinic on governor's drive.

That's a good thing.

He said the supply chains are looking good.

They are still working on getting supplies in and just monitoring this situation.

But again, pat, that bottom line, we control how we handle these guidelines.

And that state health order as to how long or not long we will be in this situation.

Sims yeah, marie, you get the idea when you keep watching the leaders like that that they have a plan for now.

But they also have a plan in the future.

And to your point about the army corps of engineers being at the ready of build any kind of hospital should our hospital system need that.

But also, you know, when you're looking at what mayor tommy battle says of huntsville, he says that at first we were look at on the 16th of march, looking at implementing the local state of emergency plan.

Well, then you had huntsville council president devyn keith coming in with some official language saying that we are now extending that state of emergency for another three weeks until monday, april 27th, at 5:00 p.m.

And they can extend that past -- for three more weeks if the situation dictates.

That simply allows local leaders like mayor bat to take charge, to make some quick decisions and to avoid any kind of the government slowdown, shall we say.

But the bottom line, we're looking at, in the mayor's terms, about two more weeks before we see a surge, a surge of cases here in north alabama.

And he says, look, he applauds the community, keep doing what you're doing.

Those things like making those 4,000 face shields for medical workers, medical employees, continue to adhere to social disdistancing guidelines.

They get complaints but the only thank they can do is not enforce the complaint but go out to various businesses or wherever a complaint happens and say, look, we're going to make sure that we enforce the order that's being enforced there.

But again, continue to follow social distancing, now is not the time to let your guard down.

We're expecting the surge in two weeks.

So keep doing what you're doing right now.

We control our own destiny, is the message we're getting out there from today.

So we're going the continue to follow these briefings.

We'll have more on what's happening in response to the coronavirus pandemic in north alabama today on waay 31 news at 4:00.

In the meantime, all the latest developments on

And now, back to your regular programming.

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